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New Inscription Found in Ekron (1997)

The final season of excavation at Tell Mikne, Biblical Ekron, ended a few months ago. Ekron was one of the five big Philistine cities known from various Bible stories. The excavating team was led by Trude Dothan from the Hebrew University and Seymour Gitin from the Albright School of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem.

All seasons yielded important records for the study of Biblical Israel but the last season proved to be the most fruitful as the dig revealed a five line dedicatory Templeinscription containing the names of both the city, Ekron, and the name Achish, a name known from the Bible as the king of

Gath who befriended David before David became king (1 Samuel 21).

But the Achish mentioned in the inscription is probably NOT the Biblical character, since the inscription has been dated to the 7th Century C BCE, while David lived in the 11th – 10th century BCE. While the Biblical character may not have been identified, the discovery does indicate that Achish was in fact a recognized Philistine name.

A Faximile of the Ekron Inscription.
A Faximile of the Ekron Inscription.